Erdogan Sticks To Karabakh Linkage After Moscow Trip

ANKARA (RFE/RL)–The normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations remains conditional on a Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement acceptable to Azerbaijan, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said after this week’s high-profile visit to Russia.

“The process of normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem are interconnected. These processes may be going on separately, but they are interconnected behind the scenes,” Erdogan told journalists on his way back from Moscow, according to a “Hurriyet” newspaper report cited by Azerbaijani media.

“Once the problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan is resolved, once the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh ends, the Turkish-Armenian issue will find a solution,” he said. “If Armenia has good intentions let it prove them by starting the liberation of the districts around Nagorno-Karabakh.”

A senior Turkish lawmaker clarified on Friday that Turkey’s parliament will not even debate the ratification of the two “protocols” signed with Armenia in October in the coming weeks. The Anatolia news agency quoted Murat Mercan, chairman of the parliament’s foreign relations committee, as saying, “We are all eager to bring the protocols to the committee and the parliamentary floor, and we do want to see relations get normal, but at this time it would be useless to debate the issue which is highly likely to be revoked by the committee.”

Mercan is a member of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, which has a clear majority in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Armenian leaders have repeatedly rejected the Turkish precondition, arguing that neither protocol makes any reference to the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute. The United States, the European Union and Russia have also voiced support for an unconditional and speedy implementation of the Turkish-Armenian agreements.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly urged Ankara to drop the Karabakh linkage at a joint news conference with Erdogan on Wednesday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood by that call during a visit to Yerevan on Thursday.

Erdogan signaled his disappointment with the Russian position as he flew back to Ankara. He said Moscow can speed up a Karabakh settlement by putting pressure on Armenia, a Russian ally. “If Russia falls back on this issue, achieving a result will become more difficult,” he said.


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  1. Varuzh B said:

    Hahahaha…..that’s ok. Let them link it.
    Armenia will ratify the protocal, Turkey will not.
    After the given time frame it will all be made null and void…
    and Turkey will look like a COMPLETE ASS to the international community.
    God bless Armenia & Artsakh.

    • Ivan said:

      If Armenians continue to fool around with their politics (in fact that what Azeries want: to give another few years of negotiations) Armenia, forget about  Artsakh, will disappear from the world map. Have you been in Artsakh recently? It is a disaster my brother!!! Corruption, no jobs, no people, everyone is depressed, no future…

  2. Frank said:

    Accepting our terms will mean the end of Turkey.
    Therefore they will fight this to death.
    Armenians must be united and be ready for the inevitable.
    Also we must bring an end to all those who are cooperating with this evil monster called Turkey.
    If you are cozy with the Turks then you cannot be our friends

  3. jerry sabounjian said:

    Erdoghan doesn’t get it, Armenia will never capitulate on the karabakh issue, that would mean the end of Armenia as we know it.
    He talks about occupation, how about occupation of Western Armenia per treaty of Sevres, and occupation of northern Cyprus.

  4. jerry sabounjian said:

    So much to the better. They can go ahead and let those protocols die on a piece of paper, and they can keep there borders closed forever. Armenia will survive and defend herself with all of us united.

  5. Arman said:

    In that case Armenia must destroy these protocols and walk away from them immediately because there can be no concessions on Artsax.

  6. raffi said:

    Either Erdogan or Sarkissian Will have to  step down  . Alough both them have the majority in the parilmant but neither them has the courge to retify the protocols . needless to say the protocols are against the will of people in both countries .

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  8. Grish Begian said:

    This man really wants to put entire Armenian Nation into one  egg basket and thrown them into Black see. This is not because of Azeri Turks, or Artsakh,  it is just because we are Armenians…
    If Russia side Turkish plan, that will be end of Russian influence in Transcaucasia..
    Turkish leaders will black mail Russia, and the West,  in order to stop spread of Genocide recognition by civilized nations of the world, not because of Artsakh…

  9. Avetis said:

    This is good… Now they’re messing with the bear; I know I will get to see another Sarikamish in my life.

  10. Guido said:

    If Turkey doesn’t ratify, the plum of genocide recognition by the US will be nice and ripe for April 24. It makes you wonder what diversions Turkey has planned for April 24, 2010

  11. Sarkis said:

    Let the no war no peace status quo in the liberated Artsakh lands continue with a much reinforced military defense line, with the help of Armenia’s current military allies.   Let the lifeline corridor Iran-Armenia-Russia going thru Georgia, with or without the help of current Georgian regime be widened and reinforced.

  12. Garen said:

    Jesus Christ i don’t believe these people. You hear them Saying that Turkey has changed and that they are not the same as in 1915 but here again we see the double faced government that probably would continue the idea of its predecessor given a chance.

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  14. Papken Hartunian said:

    “If Armenia has good intentions let it prove them by starting the liberation of the districts around Nagorno-Karabakh.”
    Mr. Erdogan, what about Turkey having a good intention by starting liberating the Western Armenia? As long as Turkey is occupying Western Armenia, there will not be peace in the region. Soon or later, Armenians will force Turkey to return Western Armenia where she belongs. As long as souls of our ancestors are calling for justice, there will not be peace and security in the region.
    Turkey, better of having stable and prosper neighbor rather than having unstable Armenia driven to the wall.

  15. Gayane said:

    Yes chem haskanum.. chem haskanum.. esqanits heto Armenia is still thinking about moving forward with the ratification and implementation?  I mean how else can Erdogan, apush andznvorotyuna, that Turkey will not budge unless we give up Artsagh.  Armenian should spit on Turkey and rip the Protocols apart… We have done our due diligent but apparently Turkey is not doing why are we waiting?

    And I hope Varuzh, you are right about Turkey looking like a complete IDIOT and DONKEY”S BEHIND after all this goes down the drain for them. 

    Astvats jan.. Let Armenia win this one..

    God Bless

  16. Araxi said:

    Turkish leaders are war mongering. They know that no Armenian will agree with giving up even an inch of Armenian land. Erdogan must remember that Karabagh has an army now. This is not 1915 Mr. Erdoghan. Armenians will rise to the challenge, be careful.

  17. manooshag said:

    Hye, appears the turk leaderships  have a psychological problem, compounded by a hearing problem, compounded by a lack of education of their citizens problem, and are a decayed, decaying leadership who  think  that if they ‘bully’ their way with all the other civilized nations of the world – Turkey shall have its own way – rather as a spoiled brat. 
    And, civilized societies take all this – allow this – sadly…  Is Turkey militarily so strong with all the armaments they buy from the USA – is Turkey to be feared?  Manooshag

  18. Turanoglu said:

    Dont worry my Armenian friends.Armenian side will never make any consequations over Karabakh.Azerbaijan will never resume war there will never be are happy without us,we are happy without you.